The Latest: Report: Manchester VA working to fix problems

CONCORD, N.H. — The Latest on federal whistle-blower report detailing the Manchester VA Medical Center's failure to address complaints of substandard care at the facility (all times local):

2:25 p.m.

A Veteran Affairs spokesman disputes allegations the Manchester VA Medical Center failed to take seriously whistleblower complaints of substandard care at the facility and insists it is well on the way to address those shortcomings.

Curt Cashour said Thursday that Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin had visited the facility last year after problems were identified. He said several members of the Manchester leadership team have been replaced.

Cashour also said the facility addressed a fly infestation at an operating room and responded to a whistleblower complaint about patients developing serious spinal cord diseases. They had launched an independent clinical review of every case that whistleblowers identified. The investigation is ongoing.

The Boston Globe reported last summer that 11 physicians and medical employees alleged the facility was endangering patients.

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11:20 a.m.

A federal agency has found that the Manchester VA Medical Center failed to take seriously whistleblower complaints of substandard care at the facility, including that a number of patients developed serious spinal cord diseases as a result of clinical neglect.

The findings announced Thursday from the Office of the Special Counsel follow reports last summer from The Boston Globe that 11 physicians and medical employees alleged the Manchester facility was endangering patients. They described a fly-infested operating room, surgical instruments that weren't always sterilized and patients whose conditions were ignored or weren't treated properly.

In response to the Globe report, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin immediately removed three top officials and ordered an investigation.

A spokesperson for the VA did not respond to a request for comment.

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